Israel claims to successfully test David's Sling missile defense system


An Israeli missile is launched from the Iron Dome defense missile system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, on November 18, 2012. Israel's military said it successfully tested the David's Sling missile defense system (not pictured), designed to intercept longer-range missiles.



Israel successfully tested a new missile defense system called "David's Sling" on Sunday, said the military.

According to the Associated Press, the new system is designed to stop mid-range missiles, with ranges of up to 180 miles. The military said the system successfully shot down its first missile in a drill in southern Israel on Sunday.

Officials said David's Sling is Israel's answer to the longer-range missiles launched by Lebanon's Hezbollah militants and Syria.

"The completion of the program will be a significant layer for Israel's multi-tiered anti-missile defense system," said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in a statement, according to Reuters.

Reuters reported that Israel has accelerated work on a multi-tier missile shield, with help from the US, because of rising security concerns along its borders with Gaza, Syria and Lebanon.

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The new system uses technology similar to the Iron Dome system, which Israel has claimed has a success rate of 90 percent, according to Reuters.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that this test of David's Sling, also known as Magic Wand, did not include a warhead. The Israel Defense Forces plan to carry out an advanced trial in the future.

The Iron Dome system is used for short-range rockets and the Arrow system will cover longer-range rockets from Iran, while David's Sling will bridge the gap.

David's Sling will defend against Iranian missiles such as the M600, the Zelzal, Fajr and Fateh 110, according to The Jerusalem Post, and is slated to become operational in 2014.

According to the Post, the system is being developed jointly by the Israeli Defense Ministry, the US Missile Defense Agency, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Raytheon.

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